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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garden tales

Artwise, I have been at a standstill. My muse has packed up and wandered away as I struggle to create for a couple of swaps coming up. ACK!! Summer seems here to stay and I am constantly fighting with the dandelions and other greens that are taking over my garden.
My raspberries are out and am swimming in fruit. I already made a batch of jam out of desperation. I may need to freeze some of these berries and I know I still have berries from last year-help!! If you live within driving distance, do consider coming out and helping me with my dilemma as I can't keep up with the harvesting of the raspberries. Last year, I made raspberry syrup, some raspberry vodka cordial and raspberry jelly.

I have been trying to line up friends to come out and harvest these lovely beauties. There are only so many raspberries one can eat :)

Here's another picture to tempt you.... These red, luscious, organic raspberries truly are gems of nature. I seem to have a little visitor in my garden. My neighbours, who are bird freaks, tell me that we have some blue jays visiting and staying. They've gotten them trained so that my neighbours show up with peanuts and other nuts for the birds when they come out into the garden. When I was out picking the lovely raspberries you see in the pictures, I heard this loud squawking from the bushes in front of me. It was so loud, I thought it was a magpie, but it was only one of the bluejays, protesting at my presence in his patch of berries! I shooed him away, of course, he'd better learn to share :)

I've yet to attack the grass with the dandelion stick because I really want my lawn to remain organic. Especially since I found a patch of edible looking mushrooms under the golden crabapple tree. They were so edible looking, I found myself taking a bite out of the stem.I took it inside, washed it off and ate it. It was really, really good! It tasted very umami- savoury and meaty- surely something like this cannot be poisonous? So I decided to look it up and apparently, you're supposed to identify the mushroom *before* you eat it. So, I did a spore print and it had some lovely brown and salmon coloured spores, and the mushroom is white and has unattached gills and a ring on the stipe too. From some pictures, and the identification key I followed, I think it is a Trichoroma pardixx but since I am not 100% sure, I am going to wait till I take a course on mushroom identification before I proceed. Too bad, though, since that would have been a lovely meal. And they continure to taunt me as I can see their lovely white caps in the grass out the window from where my computer is located. ETA: I have to revise my identification since I've done more poking and it turns out my mushroom is Agaricus oseanus, as it also bruises yellow when damaged and I do remember the flesh turning yellow from me holding it. I'ts listed as cautionary edible, meaning that some people have had allergic reactions to it. Apparently, it has also been mistaken for the Amanita species (and likelwise) of which all species are poisonous. So perhaps I was wise to not consume it all. Just so people don't think I do very cavalier things all the time (okay so those of you who know me will realise I do anyways because of my risktaking behaviour, but that is another story for another time) I have taken several undergraduate courses in fungal physiology so I am not doing this blindly.

So, I don't think I posted a picture of what I did with my most favouritest inchies. I framed them. They are on the wall beside the computer so I get to gaze at them everyday an I love this idea so much, I am going to frame more inchies and surround this picture with more framed inchies. Those inchies are too beautiful to leave hidden in the box and sticking them in an album is just too geeky for me. The tactile inchies like my shaker ones will still be in the box, though because some of them inchies need to be fondled. It has gotten so that I can identify each and every inchie in the frame. Everyone's style is unique to them and that's what makes each inchie special.

I sure hope my muse returns soon.I need to get my stuff complete and out the door tomorrow. I also need to find my tatting shuttle and threads ... sigh..... wish me luck!


Susie Dally said...

Oh, I envy you those beautiful berries. When my girls were little there was a U Pick farm less than a half mile from our house. The girls gaged their summer by what fruit was ripe. This would have been blueberry and the end of cherry season for us now. I love raspberry jam sandwiched in a chocolate cake. Raspberry jam on shortbread cookies. etc. Your pictures are luscious! So are your inchies!

Honour said...

ah you know what made me laugh in your posting? how you described your risk-taking behavior ... how you then tried to convince your readings you don't usually take on risk-taking behavior ... and then how you admit in the end, that your friends will confirm that you are indeed cavalier!

blogs - they call us to honesty :)

lovely posting .... i'll come get raspberries soon

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane :) love the story and you can never have too many raspberries--they are my favourite fruit! Make juice, mmmmmmmm
Blue Jays are not as noisy as my crows! They go from dawn to dusk and I'm not even out in the yard to bother them--they just love to talk to each other. I have learned that they are a very close family unit. I just hope their whole community doesn't move in :)

I love what you have done to your inchies, there is nothing like original art and why not display it! I'm going to do that with my rainbow inchies.
Ok, this is not email :) bye for now, Nancy

Kimmie said...

Yes - those birds must learn to share :)

I am quite impressed with your fungal physiology undergraduate achievements ....

Lovely inchies too :)

Jan said...

You are too funny! Glad you finally fessed up to just how risky your behavior was....livin' on the edge, eh? Your raspberries are beautiful and my salivary glands are a pumping. Wish I were close enough to drop by with a bucket. Love how your inchies are displayed.

Anonymous said...

And you tat also??? I have all the stuff to do that - haven't learned yet - it's almost a lost art!!!
In answer to your question - if you put the pulp back in the liquid you've pressed, you will have jam - if you don't, you have syrup - which is what I got the first time I used the press!!! I am an amateur - learning as I go!! The syrup is delicious tho!! I use a potato masher, when I make preserves. Also freeze a ton of them- and have to go pick more!!! Your cordial sounds delish - I may have to try that!!!
Thanks for stopping by - don't forget to enter the apron giveaway!!!